Kiprusoff regains form as Flames down Capitals

PA Stats Inc
The Hockey News

Kiprusoff regains form as Flames down Capitals

PA Stats Inc

CALGARY, Alberta (Ticker) -- Miikka Kiprusoff finally looked
like a Vezina Trophy-caliber goaltender.

Kiprusoff stopped 30 shots and Matthew Lombardi netted the
game-winning goal as the Calgary Flames skated to a 2-1 victory
over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.

Captain Jarome Iginla also tallied for Calgary, which beat
Washington for the first time in nine meetings. It was thanks
in large part to the embattled Kiprusoff, who entered with a
4.37 goals-against average - a far cry from his 2.69 mark of a
season ago.

However, the Finnish netminder held reigning Hart Trophy winner
Alex Ovechkin in check in this one and helped the Flames pick up
their first win over the Capitals since March 13, 1999. Calgary
had gone 0-6-2 in its previous eight games against Washington.

"A very sharp goaltender tonight," Flames coach Mike Keenan
said. "Very, very sharp. That looked like Miikka tonight."

Kiprusoff's performance was even more impressive considering he
helped contain a Capitals team that entered sixth in the league
with 20 goals.

"I think this was my strongest game," said Kiprusoff, who won
the Vezina in 2006. "Now I just have to keep it up. I think it
helps give confidence to our team to play good defense against a
good offensive team."

"In the third period, I had a couple good chances, but I just
missed the net and my shots were bouncing," said Ovechkin, who
notched an assist. "He's a good goalie, he makes lots of big
saves. "

Kiprusoff allowed the game's first goal to Sergei Fedorov, who
tied Alexander Mogilny for the most tallies by a Russian-born
player (473). Fedorov tipped in a pass from defenseman Jeff
Schultz at 4:21 of the first period for a 1-0 edge.

"Kipper looked sharp all game and didn't look like he was going
to be beat after that tip-in," Iginla said. "You're not going
to shut down a team like that from getting chances, but he was
on his game, no question."

But Iginla tied it just one minute into the second session, when
he took advantage of a miscue by Shaone Morrisonn. The
defenseman failed to clear the puck from his own zone, allowing
Iginla to gather the loose puck and fire a slap shot from the
right side that trickled past goaltender Jose Theodore.

Lombardi put the Flames ahead just 1:42 later. During a 3-on-2
rush, he received a pass from Dustin Boyd and beat Theodore to
the stick side with a wrist shot.

"I think everyone had a part in that game," Lombardi said.
"Everyone chipped in somehow. It was a big team game for us."

Kiprusoff was strong early, as he and the Flames survived a
lengthy power play in the opening period after Rene Bourque
received a pair of minor penalties and a five-minute major for
fighting at 7:33. Washington's Tyler Sloan, the player with
which Bourque was angry because of a hard hit on teammate
Daymond Langkow, did not get called for a penalty.

"In that nine minutes, we have to score goals," Ovechkin said.
"What we tried didn't work. I think we can make some nice plays
and passes, but we didn't play how we can play on the power

"It was a huge job by Kipper and our PK," Iginla said. "You get
in that position, with their power play and skill, if they get
on a roll, it could be a different game. That was a huge point
(of the game) for our team."

Theodore stopped 26 shots for Washington, which went 0-for-5
with the man advantage. Calgary was just 1-for-9 on the power

"We were up 1-0 when we had that nine-minute power play,"
Theodore said. "It would have been nice to get a couple, but
give them credit - I thought they played with a lot of energy
and desperate hockey throughout the game."


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Kiprusoff regains form as Flames down Capitals